Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Do You Really Want? I Mean REALLY?

This is the time of year we all take stock. And for most of us, it's a mixed bag of disappointment and desire. A win here or there, for sure, but mostly, well . . . there's room for improvement.

I didn't finish that manuscript.

Budget? You've got to be kidding. My bank account has become meaningless in any financial strategy.

I want to be on the New York Time's Bestseller list and have Hollywood clambering for a nod from me.

And so usually, at this time of year, we suck up our failures and somehow convert them to ideals for the next year, because our dream hasn't changed. We search the cosmos for a place to hang our hat and try to convince ourselves the new place is the right place and something magical is bound to happen.

We've learned how to formulate our goals: they must be SMART. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.

Can I just say one word for all of this rhetoric toward intense introspection? Blick.

I've really been thinking about this.

In fact, for the last couple of months, the little list of tasks I have on my desktop is a lot different than one you'd expect from someone who actuallly wants to accomplish something. It's focused less on things I must accomplish than on how I want to feel after the outcome of actions I take.

At the end of the day, every day, I want to feel good about myself. I want to feel I have taken a step toward validating my dreams. At the end of the day, every day, I want to feel I've made a difference. The details are supplements to those things, but Those Things are the end goal. Every 24 hours. I'm hoping that not only will they help me achieve my dreams, but that I'll become a better person in the process.

So what I'm suggesting you consider is for your plan for 2011 to be less specific and more intrinsic.

But whatever you choose, we'll work through the year together. We'll celebrate and commisserate. I'll be as open with you as I can about my process and progress.

And there's no question I won't tackle.

For each reader here, whether regular or happenstance, I wish you validation in whatever you pursue. And to know what you really, really want.

CR: Secrets to Die For by L.J. Sellers

It's all better with friends.


  1. Peg - I love this.

    I look forward to sharing the year's up and downs with you.

    My very top goal this year is to be able to wake up every morning remembering to be thankful for what I have, and to be able to hold that joy in my heart. The rest will be gravy for my soul.

  2. I love your goal. It's so easy to forget how truly fortunate we are.

    And here's to more ups than downs.

  3. Well, to start with, Peg, I want those fireworks! (Just kidding.)

    I have a number of concrete goals that aren't much different from last year's: to run a successful writing group in my home town, to publish a couple of chapbooks for local organizations, and--this is new--to publish a novel that's almost ready.

    Thanks for your post.

  4. Bob, the fireworks are free—thanks to Morgue File—so help yourself.

    And I hope that 2011 brings you your goals and then some.

    Life is what we make it. And I like mine interesting and cozy. Nice if you can get it.

  5. Thanks for a terrific post. All I really want for myself is the opportunity to keep writing and networking. Best wishes for the new year.

  6. L.J., I'm all for you wanting to keep writing! I'm thoroughly enjoying SECRETS TO DIE FOR, and will definitely read more.

    And, on the personal side of business, I also enjoy the feeling of Internet friendship with you through different social and professional online groups we're both involved with.

  7. Thanks for an insightful, meaningful post, Peg. With friends like you in the world, keeping the focus on the feeling versus this or that barrier leapt just makes good sense. What, in the end, truly fulfills us every day?

    I do want to get a book out in the world this year as well. For me, the circle of the story completed will do something intrinsic--and I hope to find my way to the best way to do that.

  8. Jenny, my heartfelt hope for you is a contract with a terrific publisher this year to validate everything you've worked for and dreamed of. You are worthy and viable.

    You bring an energy on a daily basis to even those who have become tired and cynical. You also bring a deeply held desire to birth a book that every writer, whether they're multi-pubbed or pre-pubbed can identify with.

    So, sweet friend, while you've given so much to others in the past years, my hope is that 2011 will begin to unwrap unimaginable gifts for you tbat include one awesome cover.

  9. Thanks. Nice post. I want to get organized (need to?). But mostly I want to continue moving forwards with my writing. Slow is okay as long as it's forwards.

  10. Sheila, you are so wise. It might be frustrating to be on a slow moving train, but have you ever tried to get a stopped train going again? Sheeshkabobalino.

  11. Beautiful post, Peg. It's easy to get caught up in the chase for the elusive brass ring and forget to enjoy the moment and realize that the most important thing is the kind of person you are. If we reach all our goals but aren't happy with ourselves when we look in the mirror, we've missed the point, right?

    And Kaye, I love the phrase "gravy for the soul."